After putting 487 runs on the board, team India bowlers proved that they too have as much firepower in their belly as they struck early to bowl out the Sri Lankans soon after the Tea break. The hosts have been going through awful time this year and their fortunes were summed up by Kusal Mendis run-out in the ongoing 3rd Test at Pallekele.
Sri Lankans wanted to avoid a whitewash and not a single player could help do it. Hanged by several injuries, down 2-0 in the 3-match series, a run-out was the last thing, Sri Lanka would have wanted but then again nothing is going their way.
Sri Lanka found great difficulty in dealing with Indian bowlers, with Mohammed Shami removing both openers Dimuth Karunaratne and Upul Tharanga inside the first 5 overs. Mendis, who had scored a brilliant counter-attacking century in the second Test at Colombo, once again brightly hit 4 fours to race to 18 off 19 balls when his promising knock came to an end due to a brilliant piece of fielding from Ravichandran Ashwin.
Indian fielders made Kusal Mendis pay for his mix-up between the wickets with Dinesh Chandimal, with Kuldeep Yadav getting the run-out as R Ashwin failed to hit the stumps after putting a brilliant fielding effort at mid-on.
Dinesh Chandimal shuffled across and flicked a Mohammed Shami delivery to the right of mid-on. The ball was looking intended to evade the fielder but Ashwin had other plans as he ran a few meters and dived full length to stop the ball.
By that time, Mendis had set off for the single but Ashwin sent down a wild throw, giving the batsman a chance to return back to the crease. Kudeep at short cover showed a good presence of mind and quickly rattled the stumps with a sharp throw.
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Kuldeep rose to the occasion and rattled the batsmen by taking 4 wickets in the first innings. With a lead of 352 runs, skipper Virat Kohli decided to enforce the follow-on on Sri Lanka, hoping to get as many wickets on Day 2 as possible in an attempt to probably wrap-up the match and series in three days.